Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 4/22/2016

Trumpeter Swans at Central Lakes Trail

Dear Friends,

It was another busy week in Washington. I met with members of the Minnesota Pork Producers and the North American Deer Farmers Association to discuss livestock health. I also joined representatives from the trucking, beverage and food industries to ensure the food we produce stays affordable for Minnesota consumers. The Agriculture Committee was busy with a Subcommittee hearing continuing the Committee’s “Focus on the Farm Economy” hearing series. Finally, this year’s Congressional Art Competition application period closes on Monday, and I would like to thank participating schools and students for sharing their artistic achievements. I’ll be sharing the winning artwork in early May.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Minnesota Pork Producers

The Minnesota Pork Producers were in town this week. We met in the Capitol and covered several topics including the necessity for a robust vaccine bank, the need for funding for Combating Antibiotic Resistance Bacteria (CARB), opportunities to reach new markets with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and their concerns with the PRIME act. Nationally, Minnesota ranks second in the number of pigs raised.

Minnesota Telecom Alliance

Members of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance came to town to discuss the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) regulatory action on the Universal Service Fund (USF) and set-top boxes. The group also asked me to support repealing the Affordable Care Act’s 40 percent excise tax. I am a cosponsor of legislation to do just that. Repealing the tax will help small business owners attract and retain qualified employees in rural areas.

Minnesota Building Trades

Minnesota union members of the National Building Trades visited Washington, D.C. to discuss improving skilled workforce through expanding community outreach efforts involving apprenticeship-readiness programs. They noted the growth of economic activity that has occurred since the 2008 recession and continuing to emphasize business partnerships.

North American Deer Farmers Association

The North American Deer Farmers Association was also in town this week for their annual fly in. We discussed Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a significant issue for deer farmers. They are seeking additional funding for indemnity payments for positive CWD animals. Currently there is no live test for CWD, you can only test the animal after it has died, but research is advancing. I will continue to be a strong supporter of the deer farmers.

Minnesota Beverage Association

I was pleased to welcome members of the Minnesota Beverage Association to Washington, D.C. for their annual issues conference. We had a good conversation about GMO labeling, food choice in federal programs, and initiatives the beverage industry is spearheading to reduce obesity and calories in their products.

Minnesota Trucking Association

Members of the Minnesota Trucking Association visited my office this week to advocate on behalf of the state’s motor carriers. As a vital source of jobs and a means of transporting essential goods, the trucking industry is crucial to the success of rural economies. I look forward to working with the Association as they pursue policies benefiting trucker safety, workforce and service in communities across the 7th District.  


This week I met with members of the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association. We had a lively discussion about the state of trails in Minnesota as well as issues like trail access, modern snowmobile manufacturing, and the status of state transportation projects. Minnesota is home to two snowmobile manufacturers, Polaris and Arctic Cat, and the snowmobile industry is a large contributor to the state's economy. I will continue to do everything in my power to increase trail access for fellow sportsmen and women.

Carl Casale

On Wednesday, I met with Carl Casale, the President and CEO of CHS, Inc. We talked about the farm economy and how CHS is working to help farmers survive the downturn. We discussed a wide range of federal policies, including crop insurance, environmental regulations, taxes, and what we can both do to make sure rural communities stay strong. CHS is the nation’s largest member-owned cooperative and is a major agriculture and energy company based in Minnesota.

Food Marketing Institute

Frederic Miller, Russell (Tres) Lund

I recently visited with Minnesota members of the Food Marketing Institute to discuss efforts to label genetically engineered food products, menu labeling, and labor workforce challenges. The Food Marketing Institute works on a number of issues with the goal of keeping food prices affordable for consumers. The Institute also provides information to industry participants about the newest science for food safety.

Northwestern Lumber Association

I helped create the Working Forests Caucus in Congress to support the timber industry and organizations like the Northwestern Lumber Association. My staff aide Zach Martin met with the group to talk about health care costs for small businesses, EPA regulations and the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule.

Marvin Windows and Doors

David McDonald (WARROAD)

Warroad is home to the world’s largest manufacturer of made-to-order wood window and door products. Marvin Windows and Doors is a staple Minnesota company and employs thousands of people. David McDonald was in Washington last week and met with my staff aide Zach Martin about energy efficiency legislation currently being considered on Capitol Hill.

Range Association of Municipalities and Schools

Nancy Norr, Mayor Mike Skelton, David Lislegaar, Steve Giorgi, Mayor Chuck Novak, and Mayor Andrew Zupancich

RAMS is an organization created in 1939 from the Iron Range of northeastern Minnesota, with a focus on promoting the area’s economic and community development. The Iron Range has been in the spotlight lately due to hardships sustained by steel dumping from China. My staff aide Zach Martin sat down with the group to discuss several issues impacting the Iron Range.

Redhead Creamery

Lucas and Alise Sjostrom and their son Henry, Colleen Landkamer, USDA RD State Director, and Jerry Jennissen

My staff assistant Toni Merdan toured the Redhead Creamery in Brooten on Thursday to help USDA rural development congratulate them on receiving a Value Added Producer Grant. They will utilize the funds to market cheese made in their on-farm creamery. For more information about their products visit

Clarissa, Minnesota

Pictured are Colleen Landkamer, USDA RD State Director, and Clarissa Mayor Larry Cook

USDA Rural Development Earth Day visits continued on Thursday in Clarissa to congratulate the community on a loan and grant to replace portions of the city's water distribution and wastewater collection systems.

Moorhead Housing Meeting

Mary Tingerthal, Commissioner of MN Housing

My staff assistant Toni Merdan attended the Moorhead area Housing Dialogue sponsored by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, USDA Rural Development, and the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund. The event was designed to engage a broad network of stakeholders in the region for tactical discussions about specific housing needs.

Boilermakers Local 647

Members of the Local 647 met with my staff aide Chris Iacaruso to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnerships, EPA regulations such as the Clean Power Plant initiative, the need to streamline the permitting process for energy projects, and the chances for passing a coal ash bill.

Legislative Update

Agriculture Committee Update

The Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit held a hearing Tuesday to look at “Tightening Credit Conditions.” The hearing was a continuation of the Committee’s “Focus on the Farm Economy” hearing series. Credit is one of the most important tools available for farmers and ranchers. This is especially important during times of low commodity prices, as we are currently experiencing, and following a run-up of land values and cash rents. Without access to credit, farmers would be left wondering if they have the means necessary to produce a crop this year.


Earth Day

Each year, April 22 is dedicated as Earth Day, a celebration of preserving our natural resources and keeping our pristine lakes and woods healthy and vibrant for future generations. The first Earth Day began in 1970 and has been recognized and celebrated ever since. Minnesota is well positioned to benefit from renewable energy sources such as biodiesel, ethanol, wind, and biomass.

Chancellor Selected for the University of Minnesota-Morris

Congratulations to Dr. Rodney S. Hanley, who has accepted the offer to serve as the new Chancellor for the University of Minnesota-Morris. Dr. Hanley comes to UMM from Fisk University in Tennessee. Congratulations, Dr. Hanley, and welcome to Minnesota.

Discovering the 7th


The Pierre Bottineau Memorial, commissioned in 2000, stands in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Red Lake Falls. The memorial depicts the life of the famous surveyor, whose expeditions into U.S. territories helped bring frontier settlements and industry to Minnesota. In addition to founding Breckenridge and Red Lake Falls, Pierre Bottineau also served as an instrumental guide in the Transcontinental Railway survey of 1853. He was a renowned diplomat and translator, earning him the nickname "The Walking Peace Pipe." As such, he played a part in forging many treaties with Native American tribes. According to his obituary he spoke French, English, Dakota, Ojibwe, Cree, Mandan and Winnebago.

This Week in American History

On April 19, 1945, “Hail! Minnesota” became Minnesota’s state song. Written by two University of Minnesota students in 1904 and 1905, it also became the University’s official song. The lyrics to “Hail! Minnesota” can be found below, and you can listen to the song by clicking here.

Minnesota, Hail to Thee!

Hail to Thee, our state so dear,

Thy light shall ever be

A beacon bright and clear.

Thy sons and daughters true

Will proclaim Thee near and far.

They shall guard Thy fame and adore Thy name;

Thou shalt be their Northern Star!

Like the stream that bends to sea,

Like the pine that seeks the blue;

Minnesota, still for Thee

Thy sons are strong and true!

From Thy woods and waters fair,

From Thy prairies waving far.

At Thy call they throng with a shout and song;

Hailing Thee their Northern Star!

Visitors from the 7th

Josh Thoreson (MARSHALL)

Sue Neisen and Bob Koenig (DELANO), Josie Neisen and Andrew Goodman (WINSTED)

Tim, J.J., Ryan, and Seth Larson (STAPLES)

Wes Flinn (MORRIS)

Tom, Lonnie, Taylor, and Nycole Larson (FERGUS FALLS)

Callie Aguilar and Grant Hargett

Tim and Sarah Roers (ALEXANDRIA)

Mary Gritzmacher, Samantha Bednar, Nate Christensen (PIERZ)

Prince (1958-2016)
We will miss such an impactful Minnesotan